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View Full Version : Duncan wants a Big Man


mavsfanforever
06-10-2003, 02:18 PM
Link (http://www.nypost.com/sports/nets/36297.htm)

June 10, 2003 -- "DID you hear New Jersey is offering to sign and trade Jason Kidd for Tony Parker?" I asked Tim Duncan while walking him to the team bus following Game 3 of The NBA Finals whose highlight, so far, is Dikembe Mutombo turning 90 before the Nets did.
"Are you serious?" Duncan responded in all seriousness.

"No, only joking," I confessed.

"That's pretty funny. You had me going there for a second. Hey, I don't want to lose my man, Tony."

That's how anti-pubescent Parker frequently has looked in his magnum match-up against the league's legendary cut-throat. While I'm still convinced Kidd is the most coveted rising free agent in the Spurs' directory, you've got to wonder why they'd feel the need to recruit an established playmaker when Parker appears to be out-distancing his comp in terms of compiling positive championship-round experience.

Not that I'm suggesting Parker is perfect, by any stretch. Pound-for-pound, he can over-dribble and dominate the ball with the worst of 'em, sometimes foolishly declining to play inside-out or move the ball from side-to-side in order to hoist up an unsavory shot. As evidenced by his intermittent bouts with impatience and immaturity, he still has much to learn.

Having noted that, if the Spurs can't be beaten with the 21-year-old Parker as their tenderfoot guide, what makes anyone think the task - a happy, healthy and hydrated Shaq and Kobe, notwithstanding - is going to be easier in seasons to come? The time to silence these lambs is now, not later, after they've gained familiarity with each other, knowledge of the game and an air of invincibility.



Particularly when you factor in that the Spurs have $14 million in cap space this summer to invest in fresh, compatible talent.

Which brings us to our next question for Duncan.

"Before Gregg Popovich and his staff decide to reach out for that certain someone or two, I assume they'll ask for your opinion?"

"Yeah, I'm sure they'll come to me and ask for my input," Duncan agreed.

"And, what do you think your team needs most?"

"We need another scorer."

"With David Robinson leaving we definitely need a big man."

"And, who would you like to replace him?"

"There's Jermaine O'Neal and Brad Miller. P.J. Brown is also out there. He'd be a nice fit, too," answered Duncan before offering a stream of accolades on behalf of restricted free agent Elton Brand, the Clippers' undersized macho forward - the starting lineup's version of Malik Rose.

"Who would you prefer? A center or a power forward?"

"That's a good question. I prefer a center," Duncan said after a brief pause.

Guess that decides that.

While I was busily breaking down Duncan, The Mysterious J., the Pacers' No. 1 fan, was nearby being worked over by Richard Jefferson.

"Where's your boy, Jermaine, hanging out these days?" he taunted. "Where's he gonna go? If he were smart, he'd sign with the Spurs. Playing with Duncan would add five years [not to mention three or four rings] on to his career."

"Yeah, but if he goes to the Western Conference, he'd probably never make the All-Star team again."

"That's something to consider," Jefferson said.

"That's the trouble with players today, you actually would consider something like that," The Mysterious J. slam-dunked.